July 17, 2009
It's midnight and I'm proud to say I have finished my four recipes. Two are done and the two others I just finished putting into the crockpots. They'll be done by the morning. It's later than I thought, but here's how the day started:
I woke up at 7 a.m. instead of 5. Because I went to bed much much later than I thought I would. So...I was tired. But that two hours you know what that means? The rugrats are awake. And you know what that means? They're in the kitchen. Running around. Asking me for things. Trying to sit on the counter. Aria - eating raw spinach out of the bowl like it's going out of style. (What kid does that???) And Neha - no better. She tends to take on pets in the house. A year ago it was a lemon from the fridge. She played with it. Ate with it. Slept with it. She wasn't the same for days after Sandeep accidently cut it up and squeezed it over our side salad. Today she found an almond in its shell. First, she tried to break the shell with tongs. I told her we needed to buy a nutcracker. Then, she went to my bedroom and played with it for a while...and fought with Aria when the little one tried to make a grab for it. (I knew I should have put these kids in summer camp! What in the world was I thinking??)
So....I managed to only prep the Sarson ka Saag and the Goan Black Eyed Peas. Both turned out amazingly well, though for the peas I've decided to use one can less of coconut milk than the original stovetop recipe dictated.
I started cooking again late. And Neha was still up - at 10 pm! I was irritated, but sucked it up and started thinking about what this project is really all about. It's about them - so why not try and be a little more patient? So...this girl that usually is in bed by 8 stood by my side for an hour and helped me chop ginger and garlic into paste in the food processor and grind a roasted cumin and coriander powder from fresh whole spices. She even sampled the Goan Black Eyed Peas and liked them. Exactly the reason I'm cooking in the first place - to get them to try as many different dishes as possible.
Here's one of my favorite new spice blends - it went into the cauliflower in spicy tomato sauce:
Toasted cumin and coriander seed
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon coriander
Place both in a dry, shallow frying pan. On medium-high heat warm until golden brown. Shake or stir the seeds so that they don't burn. This will take 2-3 minutes. Place the mix into a bowl and allow to cool. Once cooled, place in a coffee grinder (used solely for spices) or mortar and pestle and grind into a powder.
The result is a lemony-nutty flavor that is great when trying to enhance the flavor of a dish.
Here's another tip - do the above with just cumin and keep the powder on hand to add into savory yogurt (raita). You'll be amazed by the flavor. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.
What's in store for tomorrow???
Dry dal (Sooki Dal) - awesome in wraps with a little spinach
Sooo...keep me honest. Who is coming over to pick up some food? I'm dropping some off to my buddy Shruti in the morning - she's been an awesome taste tester so far. And my buddy Maria who picked up food last night. Don't be shy. Sophie????? Where are your containers?
Good Night for now!!